Prior to 1967, there was not a dependable source for canned Pepsi-Cola product availability in the Carolinas, as most canned soft drinks were produced by private-label canneries throughout the southeast. The need for a reliable source of canned product was apparent, so Carl Worley, Jr. of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Selma, NC, led the planning process to build a Carolina-based Pepsi-Cola cannery. Worley joined Brantley Burnett of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Roxboro, NC to persuade 36 independent North and South Carolina Pepsi bottlers to build their own cannery. After having convinced most of the independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers to invest in this joint venture, Carolina Canners, Inc. was born and built in 1968 under the leadership of Bobby Avent of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Bennettsville, SC and Burnett of Roxboro.
As with any business, location was crucial, so meetings were held to determine the most suitable central location for the new production center. Rockingham, NC and Hamlet, NC were found to be the most central location for the Pepsi-Cola bottlers to be served. However, neither of these small towns had sufficient water supplies to accommodate the needs of the new Pepsi-Cola cannery. Cheraw, SC, just a few miles south, had ample water capacity and an attractive tax base, and was chosen as the site for the new production center.
In 1972, Carolina Canners added a bottling line to fill non-returnable bottles for its customers. In the mid-1970’s, Carolina Canners built a second cannery in Cayce, SC, which was later sold to Atlantic Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Columbia, SC.
Carolina Canners not only produced cans, bottles, and fountain syrup for its stockholders and surrounding bottlers, but it also supplied our troops in Europe and the Middle East with quality Pepsi-Cola products. Carolina Canners also served as a joint purchasing agent for many of the Carolina area bottlers.
In 1978, the supply of plastic bottles was very limited, so Carolina Canners built its own plastic bottle plant called Carolina Packaging, Inc., which produced various sizes of plastic bottles for the Carolina area bottlers. In 2003, Carolina Packaging was sold to Constar.
Today, Carolina Canners supplies many of the original stockholders and neighboring bottlers with the highest of quality soft drinks from a very modern production center still located in Cheraw, SC. Carolina Canners has expanded many times and now has 2 can production lines, 2 bottle production lines, and a fountain syrup production line producing numerous brands, flavors, and packages of water, fruit juice drinks, tea, energy drinks and carbonated and non- carbonated soft drinks,.